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Issue Date: Vol. 54, No. 4, April 2014, Posted On: 3/31/2014

Chuck E. Cheese's Owner Reportedly Has Eye On Dave & Buster's

Nick Montano
TAGS: Dave & Buster's, family entertainment centers, FEC news, Apollo Global Management LLC, Chuck E. Cheese's, CEC Entertainment Inc., Dave & Buster's IPO, Oak Hill Capital Partners, Bloomberg News, Jennifer Bartashus, amusement business, arcade games

NEW YORK CITY -- The private equity group that acquired Chuck E. Cheese's for $1.3 billion in January is allegedly considering a bid for Dave & Buster's Inc., according to news reports citing unidentified sources close to the matter.

New York City-based Apollo Global Management LLC paid $54 a share in cash for Irvine, TX-based CEC Entertainment Inc., the corporate owner of the pizza-arcade chain. | SEE STORY

Dave & Buster's owner Oak Hill Capital Partners is seeking about $1 billion for the company, which posted sales of $608 million in its recent fiscal year. Bloomberg News cited two sources who said that Jefferies Group LLC and Goldman Sachs Group Inc. are running the auction.

In December, VT reported that Dave & Buster's was once again exploring a sale or initial public offering that could value the restaurant and arcade chain at more than $1 billion. The operation traded publicly between 1997 and 2006, when it was bought by a holding company operated by Wellspring Capital Partners and HBK Main Street Investors for $257 million. Oak Hill acquired Dave & Buster's for $570 million in May 2010.

Dave & Buster's was founded in 1982 and owns about 65 stores in North America. CEC and its franchisees operate almost 600 Chuck E. Cheese's stores in 47 states and 10 foreign countries. Both entertainment concepts combine foodservice and amusement games with Dave & Buster's catering to adults and Chuck Cheese's focusing on kids.

Jennifer Bartashus, an analyst at Bloomberg Industries, said a Dave & Buster's acquisition by Apollo would create synergies between the two entertainment chains, including greater purchasing scales for food and entertainment, along with lower distribution costs. | SEE BLOOMBERG

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